backpacking
bugs
over grown
rocky
2 days ago

When in shock and your walk is blocked, look for flocks of rocks. If you're not a thug when it comes to chugging bugs, don't fret, get a net. Don't be a dork, take the detour to South Fork. Both ways uphill, but if you've got the skill and the will to kill you will surely fulfill and chill. If it is white ledge you seek, we suggest you start along Manzana Creek. Don't be a fool, pick a pool and stay cool. The brush is lush. If you want your skin undiscovered, come covered.

Backpacked to the Schoolhouse Camp this past weekend, stayed one night and then backpacked out. Trail is easy to follow and in great shape. Many creek crossings but they are easy to navigate. I would highly recommend this as a good trail for first time backpackers. The trail is mostly level. I had amazing weather but could see that it could get blazing hot in spots so definitely check before you go.I took my dog and he enjoyed it too. Saw other people but its not overly crowded out there. We saw two horned lizards, a couple of deer and a whipsnake. Also be prepared for the drive out there. Doable with 2WD but full of huge potholes and very narrow in places. Go slow and enjoy! The Toyota key mentioned below was still at the trailhead!

Toyota key found at camp. We brought it out to the trailhead and placed it on the sign-in book.

Our recording was 26.4 miles without any off trail wandering— something to take into account if you’re doing it as a day hike as we were. Amazingly beautiful backcountry, especially around white ledge. A few spots where the trail gets hard to follow, but easy to sort out with the GPS map loaded into the phone.

Great two night backpacking trip to the schoolhouse. Plenty of water but the wet winter brought pretty thick poison oak too. We saw several snakes including garters, rattlesnakes and a king snake. Large bear and mountain lion tracks in the sand near the swimming hole we swam in near the schoolhouse. Flies and mosquitoes were not bad yet but that will probably change soon. Hiked in on a Thursday and the campground was empty but we saw quite a few hikers going in on our way out on Saturday.

Great overnight backpacking trip! Decided to do CW starting with Lost Valley Trail to Hurricane Deck to Manzana Creek. Weather was great at 70s and sunny, still very green from recent rains and flower blooms everywhere. Very chill gradual uphill for the first several miles leading to Lost Valley. Lost Valley was super cool (very similar to Pinnacles NP). Hurricane deck was overgrown and had NO shade, pretty miserable even at around 80 degrees with the sun. Stayed the night at White Ledge which is the first water for 12 miles after you leave the Manzana Creek area (where the fork splits at the beginning). Next day hiked out via Manzana Creek and it was completely different from the first half of the trip. Mostly in the forest along the river, there were plenty of places to swim and relax in the shade and it was downhill most of the way to the parking lot. Definitely recommend!

What a great challenge and amazing landscape. The hurricane deck portion of the trail can be difficult to follow despite being on the spine of a ridge. Glad to have a GPS map loaded on my phone. Also, if you have a fear of heights you’ll find this trail trying at times where the ridge falls off steeply on both sides.

Super pretty trail right now! Everything is super green! Only down side is that the water crossings are pretty deep and wide right now...definitely need either waterproof shoes or hiking sandals and extra wool socks to complete this hike.

Once you're down in the valley after the first mile or so (past Protero camp), this hike levels out a bunch and is very pleasant. Manzana Creek is pretty high right now so plan to bring good watershoes or lots of replacement socks - we counted 30+ crossings each way, none of which were possible without wet feet. The Schoolhouse camp itself is well kept though the grass is a little high right now. Shade is nice for most of the trail even when it's hot! The hike is longer than advertised here, about 10 miles each direction.

This is an unforgettable hike. It kicks ass. We started at 10am and finished around 830pm, a lot of time was spent looking at plants and animals. Hiked counterclockwise. I brushed off at least 10 ticks from my legs throughout the day. Check for ticks after walking through tall grass, it's easy to brush them off if they haven't bit you yet. Heard a rattlesnake while walking through a dense patch of sage. 30 min later I almost stepped on one, that woke me up. Saw another lying in the shade next to the trail. Wicked cool. The trail at the top of the ridge is overgrown and hard to follow. If I did it again I would wear pants to prevent my legs from getting scratched up. You walk right next to a steep drop off in some places which is scary and exhilarating. The views at the top are unbeatable. The Potrero trail portion, which we hiked on the way down, is a nice soft beautiful meandering trail that passes by some mighty oaks. It was really relieving to hike that after struggling through all the brush! This is a gnarly trail! I will never forget it!

mountain biking
muddy
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful, long hike. My buddy and I hiked this the day after a rain and everything was very green. There was snow towards the top so we turned around ~1 mile from the summit ( I wore sandals! We hiked 4 or 5 miles in the snow after I decided I had hit my limit. My feet were surprisingly fine after plowing through 6-8 inches of snow. My feet never cease to amaze me.) Some sections were cold and windy, it was nice having layers. This hike has a lot of great views along its entire length. It was especially nice to see the Channel Islands and San Rafael mountain in the distance. There’s a lot of cool plants like chia, poppies, yucca, manzanita, pines, thistles, ceanothus, oaks, and bay. We saw bear tracks in the mud! Spotted a small, fat lizard (Blainville’s horned lizard.) The trail is a wide dirt road that makes for mellow walking.

hiking
1 month ago

We hiked to Hells Half Acre this morning. It rained a few days ago, but the road is in good condition and the views were spectacular.

Such a fun hike. I day hiked the whole thing. Really liked seeing the caning, school house, and the views! Had fun crossing the river a bunch of times along the way. Things to note. -The last part of the road to the trail head is a bit rough ( dirt sections and/or a bunch of potholes) but my Toyota Corolla made it. -the trail is pretty easy but it’s just on the long side. The app said 17 miles and the sign on the trailhead says 10 miles to the schoolhouse. That would be 20 all together... -late winter or early spring is an awesome time to go. I got some rain and it was so much fun.

hiking
blowdown
bugs
no shade
over grown
2 months ago

Awesome hike with insane views. One of my new favorite hikes in SB County. Went counterclockwise. First ten miles to the deck were well maintained. The west deck for the next seven miles was easy enough to follow, but clearly not maintained recently. Lost the trail in the middle a few times which led to some harrowing cliffs. Not for those who are afraid of heights. Saw a rattler and mountain lion footprints on the deck. Lots of tics! Last 4 miles down were perfectly maintained. More like 21 miles. 7:50 of hiking time.

hiking
3 months ago

Trail is in good condition though the last half mile of to the summit of McKinley is overgrown but still passable with some effort, watch for ticks. Would also recommend doing the extra 3.4 miles to the San Rafael Peak which is in much better condition and is not much extra effort.

hiking
over grown
rocky
snow
5 months ago

There are many options for overnight trips on trails not drawn on the default AllTrails map. Check the Topo. I did something similar to this loop but walked further East down Manzana creek, taking Manzana trail to Hurricane Deck instead of the lost creek trail. It was 29.8 miles. All of the recommendations in the last comment are a good idea. Manzana creek was easy, comfortable walking, then Hurricane Deck was messy and overgrown with dead, dry, sharp bushes. It was slow. The only water is Manzana Creek. I tried to take the trail up big cone spruce (to make a larger loop) but there were too many blowdowns. Parking is free a 1/4 miles or so west of here.

hiking
over grown
5 months ago

The last half mile or so to the summit is now very overgrown with thorny brush. I brought a small machete, but the brush is quite thick. The sign that was at the summit is no longer there. Water is first available at about mile 8.5 at McKinley Springs camp, so bring plenty. that's pretty much the only water. On IG as @picbynathan

backpacking
bugs
washed out
6 months ago

I took a group of 4 scouts with 2 other adults on an overnight backpacking trip on this trail. It was a nice and easy walk and beautiful weather in Mid-November, chilly in the morning, but nice once the sun came up and crystal clear at night; no cloud cover, stars were amazing. Trail was clear and well traveled but we lost it twice during several wide creek crossings that had been washed out; the trail markers need to be reestablished. Once, we spent an extra hour searching a creek bed for the trail. Lots of bear scat on the trail. Not a lot of birds or critters during this time of year but lots of flies especially at the campsites. There were wild turkeys on the private property. We never actually found Dabney Cabin and ended up walking within 2 miles of Manzanita Schoolhouse looking. Slept on the trail and in the morning, hiked back to Horseshoe Bend campsite to find running water then hiked out.

As a day hike Wear pants Go counterclockwise, not clockwise Start before light Bring at least 3 liters of water Bring at least 3 high calorie bars Bring a map and maybe even gps There’s service with AT&T on the deck The trail in many parts on the deck takes focus to find

backpacking
no shade
rocky
8 months ago

Good hike with good views of Hurricane Deck, Lake Cachuma, and even the Channel Islands. Saw both bear and lion tracks all along the trail.

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